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Meet Momarr Penda Gaye

Dec 31, 2009, 1:21 PM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

Momarr Penda Gaye is man who has undoubtedly made an impression on the socio-economic development of The Gambia over the years, which has recognised his relentless efforts to turn this small West African country into a modern state.

Momarr Penda Gaye is a stickler for excellence, a trait that has swelled his performance as a civil servant. He is no doubt very genuine in his love for his country. Of course his name will remain in the history books of this country as a man whose immense contribution to nation-buiding has earned him acclaim in this country.

He started his schooling at Bakadaji Primary school from 1958 to 60 commuting from Kossemar village in Jimara District of Upper River Division (URR) and in 1960 to 65 Mr. Gaye attended Saint George's Primary school, Basse Mansajang kunda.From 1965 to 71 and then to Saint Augustine's High school in Banjul and from 1971 to 74. Immediately upon completion of his secondary education, the same year he went the then Yundum College and in 1978 he became a qualified teacher, graduating with an endorsement in Mathematics.

He began his teaching career at Kwinella Primary school in Lower River Division (LRR) as Acting Deputy Head Teacher from 1978 to 1982.

While on posting at Kwinella Primary School he was also teaching Primary Six and during that period many of his students passed to high school among them is Dawda Fadera of Personnel Management Office (PMO).  From 1982 to 83 he taught at Sir Dawda Primary School in Banjul. From 1983 to 84 he posted to Kassa Kunda Primary School in Western Region as Deputy Head Teacher.

From 1984 to 86, he was moved to Mount Carmel Primary School Kainako Kunda village in Niamina West District of Central River Region (CRR) as Deputy Head Teacher and later promoted to the position of headmaster.

Momarr Penda Gaye contested the 1986 -87 Parliamentary election through NCP ticket against Saikou Sabally, the former Vice President of The Gambia who also stood for the PPP in First Republic in Sabach Sanjally Constituency of North Bank Region (NBR).

He joined Customs Department in 1991 and started as Senior Officer from Mobile Brigade, Shell Company Field Depot, Bonded warehouses for imported vehicles and in the year 1996 Mr. Gaye faced the then Patricia Macaulay Commission later re-instated back to Customs that was in 1998 and promoted to assistant Collector posted to Sales Tax Office and he was a co-head of the entertainment tax Unit. He was later moved to Banjul Wharf and then to Banjul International Airport and in 2001 Momarr Penda Gaye was posted to Soma Customs Preventive Office (CPO) together with the present Chief of Jarra Central District Alhagie Yahya Jarjusey of Lower River River Region (LRR) of Mansakonko. His first duty in that Region was to mobilised and sensitised business people to go into trade with the Senegalese business men and women and within his short stayed in Soma he raised the said Region's revenue from D6, 600.00 a month to over D100, 000. 00 (Hundred Thousand Dalais) and then back to Banjul Ports. In 2005 Mr. Gaye was transferred to Basse in the Upper River Region (URR) as head of Customs Preventive Officer (CPO) and within six months he tripled the said Region’s Revenue collection to D800, 195.00 and five months later that was in the month of May 2006 he made a record collection of over D1, 000,000.00(one million dalasi) and he also increased the number of local collectors to 13 with constant patrol of borders and all Lumo Centres within the Upper River Region (URR). During his stayed in the (URR), Mr. Gaye conducted a weekly meeting with the Alkalolus and all the Lumo committee members in the said Region by sensitising them about the needs to stamp out smuggling between the Gambia and Senegalese borders. Mr. Gaye has registered a remarkable collection between July 2007 and February 2008 over three quarter of a million dalasi were recovered from smuggled goods and because of the said collections he received two awards certificates in Basse by the Director General of Customs and his management. According to Mr. Gaye's first acknowledgment letter dated 3rd February 2006 assured Mr. Gaye that the Director General, Management and the entire Customs staff are deeply gladden to expressed their fullest complimentary appreciation to him Mr. (Gaye) for his undivided impressive revenue collections in Basse, which clearly manifested on the returns precisely from D756, 717.14 D800, 195.10 respectively, almost tripling the previous standpoint of his predecessor. On this noble achievements his acknowledgment letter added, Customs Department deemed it necessary to send a congratulatory message to him and his dedicated staff for a very wonderful job done. The said letter was signed by Seedy Drammeh on behalf of the Director General of Customs and copied it to the offices of the Permanent Secretaries for Finance and Trade and (PMO) and Governor (URR). Momarr Gaye's second letter in Basse dated 26th June 2006 also stated that following his (Mr. Gaye's) credible and reputable status in boosting Customs potency towards sustainable revenue generation, the Director General,  Management and the entire Customs staff assured their bottomless appreciations, for his records collection of D1.01(one million dalasi in the month of May 2006). According to Mr. Gaye's second commendable letter added that it is a tradition for Customs Department to thanked productive staff like Mr. Gaye, who has demonstrated their outstanding capacity beyond reasonable doubt. The second letter was by the same Seedy Drammeh on behalf of the Director and his Management at Customs Department. In 2007 Mr. Gaye mobilised the business communities in the Upper River Region (URR) with the help from the Manager of the Rural Electrification Program (REP) and Governor (URR) Omar Khan were he raised over D200, 000. 00 (two hundred thousand dalasi) for the re- construction of the Sabi bridge which was washed away by heavy rains. In the same 2007 he served as Chairman of the civil servant Committee in URR and led the transformation of the civil servant’s Mosque situated at the main junctions of Fatato, Sabi and Mansajang kunda into a Jumma, which was opened in January 2008. And in 2007 he was promoted the position of Senior Border Post Officer (SBPO) and in 2007 Mr. Gaye was among the delegation led by the Director General of Customs for talks with the Senegalese Customs officials in Dakar on the impasse of the transit trade. Momarr Penda Gaye was also part of the delegation which had talks with the Senegalese Customs Authorities when they were invited to the Gambia in 2007 and 2008 and he represented Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) at the Commonwealth workshop on terrorism and counter terrorism in Accra, Ghana in 2008.    In March 2008 Mr. Gaye was posted to Amdalai Customs Post were he received his third letter of commendation dated 11th August 2008 from the Director General and the entire management of Customs for his impressive revue collection for the month of July 2008 which was D3, 015,984.89(three million, fifteen thousand and nine hundred and eighty-four and eighty- nine bututs). His Amdalai commendation letter urged Mr. Gaye to continue this trend as this serves to enable the Gambia Revue Authority (GRA) to meet its revenue targets and even exceed them and the mentioned that the Director General of Customs and his Management assured Mr. Gaye that they are keeping track of his records which was so far very encouraging. The Amdalai commendation letter was signed by Madi Jobarteh, head, Corporate and Public Affairs at Customs Department. While on posting at Amdalai Customs Post Mr. Gaye served as the Chairman of the security Task Force responsible for the security of all the villages from Kerewan to Barra and this was an effective Task Force committee by the time.